Sukhoi modified the V-tail and flaps of the only Su-75 prototype
Russian reports indicate that the Russian Su-75 Checkmate prototype has a modified tail design. The prototype had a V-shaped tail, but the developers decided to go further and changed the tail and flaps of the aircraft. Most likely, this was done to further reduce radar visibility.
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However, the V-tail design has several drawbacks that make it unsuitable for use in stealth fighters. One of the main issues is that the V-tail creates a larger radar signature than other tail designs. This is because the angled surfaces of the V-tail reflect radar waves in multiple directions, making it easier for radar systems to detect the aircraft.
Another issue with the V-tail design is that it can be more difficult to control than other tail designs. The V-tail surfaces are interconnected and move together to control the aircraft’s pitch and yaw. This can make it more challenging for pilots to maintain control of the aircraft in certain situations, such as during high-speed maneuvers or in turbulent conditions.
What can the Su-75 get?
Although claims of the Su-75’s modified V-tail have only been mentioned in Russian media so far, there is no word on what shape will be used in the prototype’s new configuration. However, three types of tails are better for stealth aircraft than the V-tail.
One tail shape that is suitable for stealth is the sawtooth tail. The sawtooth tail consists of a series of flat surfaces that are angled in a sawtooth pattern. This design helps to scatter and absorb radar waves, reducing the aircraft’s RCS. The sawtooth tail also creates less drag than the V-tail, allowing for increased speed and range.
Another tail shape that is suitable for stealth is the all-moving tail. The all-moving tail consists of a single surface that moves up and down to control the aircraft’s pitch. This design eliminates the need for separate control surfaces, which reduces the aircraft’s RCS. The all-moving tail also creates less drag than the V-tail, allowing for increased speed and range.
Finally, the T-tail is another tail shape that is suitable for stealth aircraft. The T-tail consists of a horizontal stabilizer mounted on top of the vertical stabilizer, creating a T-shape. This design helps to reduce the aircraft’s RCS by shielding the horizontal stabilizer from ground-based radar systems. The T-tail also creates less drag than the V-tail, allowing for increased speed and range.
Design features and capabilities
The Su-75 is positioned as a multipurpose light fighter and, unlike the twin-engine Su-57, has only one engine. Perhaps with an eye on the American F-35 competitor. According to the manufacturer, experimental versions of the Su-75 will be equipped with the latest “second stage” engine, called Izdelie 30.
It is with him that the take-off weight of a fighter can be at least 18 tons, including 7 tons of missile and bomb weapons. But, as it became known later, a sufficient number of such engines will appear no earlier than 2025.
As for military equipment, the fuselage will house three weapons bays: one main and two side bays. The side bays are designed for air-to-air missiles but have the option of mounting three air-to-air missiles or two air-to-ground missiles. The length of the Checkmate fighter will be 17.5 m, and the wingspan is 11.8 m. Compared to the Su-35, which is 20 m long and has a wingspan of 14 m, the new aircraft is more compact.
The developers declare a maximum speed – of 2200 km / h, and flight range – of 3000 km, which is provided by external fuel tanks. The combat radius is 1,500 km, while the direct competitor of the F-35 has only 1,150 km.
The radar of the new fighter will allow tracking up to 30 air targets, one or two land or sea targets, and attack up to 6 air targets simultaneously. Another feature of the Checkmate is the ability to “shoot backward”, that is, launch missiles in the opposite direction of flight.
Another point is interesting: images of the Su-75 without a cockpit appeared. Thanks to the principle of modular design, three versions of the fighter are possible: single-seat combat, two-seat combat training, and … unmanned, which flashed on the images leaked on the network. Obviously, the fighter is designed to meet the different needs of buyers.
Why are there such hopes for a new fighter? The fact is that today there are no competitors in the world with exactly the same technical characteristics, but the main and significant advantage is its price.
Yuriy Slyusar, General Director of the United Aircraft Corporation [UAC], expressed an opinion on this matter: “In our view, there are many single-engine aircraft on the market right now … But there are no fifth-generation single-engine aircraft at an acceptable, economically sound price that will be affordable for most military multirole aircraft customers.”
The new fighter is expected to cost 30-35 million dollars, which is several times cheaper than the American competitor F-35 [$83.4 million]. In terms of price ratio, the Su-75 wins, but the question of quality remains unclear at the moment. BulgarianMilitary.com also recalls that the F-35 already has good flight results that the Su-75 can only dream of.
Still, the Su-75 Checkmate has every chance to enter foreign markets, and also, possibly, to serve in the Russian air force. It remains to be hoped that the developers will not drag out the testing process and the launch of mass production will take place in the specified period.
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